EU continues to fight to make USB-C the new charging standard

EU continues to fight to make USB-C the new charging standard

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Could this mean the end of Apple’s lightning port in the EU? The EU is continuing to fight to make USB-C charging the standard on portable devices. The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee aims to create new rules that would help consumers no longer need a new charging cable every time they buy a new device. 

The hope is for people to only have one charger for all of their small and medium-sized device; this would include smartphones, tablets, and headphones, among others. Each device would need to be rechargeable via USB-C. There would be exceptions for devices too small for a USB-C port, like smart watches and health trackers for example. 

Additionally, the committee also wants a new standard for wireless charging on these products. These charging standards come as part of the EU’s broader effort to become more sustainable and reduce electronic waste. 

The new rules would include clearer information and labeling regarding charging on new devices – packaging would need to state if a charging cable is included or not. This would help avoid any confusion for consumers when they buy something new. 

The EU cites environmental concerns

Confusion around chargers fueled when Apple stopped including charging adapters with new iPhones and Apple Watches. While cited for reducing environmental waste, the company received much criticism and was accused of price-gouging consumers.

With half a billion chargers for portable devices shipped in Europe each year, generating 11,000 to 13,000 tonnes of e-waste, a single charger for mobile phones and other small and medium electronic devices would benefit everyone. It will help the environment, further help the re-use of old electronics, save money, and reduce unnecessary costs and inconvenience for both businesses and consumers. We are proposing a truly comprehensive policy intervention, building on the Commission’s proposal by calling for the interoperability of wireless charging technologies by 2026 and improving information given to consumers with dedicated labels. We are also expanding the proposal’s scope by adding more products, such as laptops, that will need to comply with the new rules.

Alex Agius Saliba

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